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posted April 23, 2014
(CELOS: Centre for Local research into Public Space, pronounced "see-loss.")
We picked that acronym because we wanted it to sound like CIDOC, the "research by people" institute of our friend, historian and philosopher Ivan Illich, which existed in Mexico in the 1960's and 70's.
Started in 2000, CELOS was incorporated as a non-profit on Sept.21 2005. In July 2009, CELOS was registered as a charity with Canada Revenue.
Its objects until charitable registration:
1. To conduct both practical and theoretical research on issues concerning parks and public commons.
2. To build a library of resource materials for, researchers, governments, and particularly members of the public who are interested in structuring parks/ public commons so that they contribute to the enjoyment of their communities.
3.To provide a forum at Dufferin Grove Park and elsewhere where people can come together to discuss issues relating to parks and public commons.
Its restated objects from July 24 2009:
1. To conduct and disseminate research on the use of neighbourhood public parks and other public commons areas;
2. To establish and operate a resource library to enable members of the public to deepen their knowledge about the use of neighbourhood public parks and other public commons areas; and
3. To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the aforementioned charitable objects.
CELOS Board members: Peter Thillaye (President), Jane LowBeer (Vice-president), Jane Price (Treasurer), Mary Jane Young, Lily Weston, Matt Leitold, Chris Sternberg, Lea Ambros, and Ann Bjorseth. Youth representative: Daniella Harris.
posted April 23, 2014
Who works for CELOS?
CELOS has only contracts, no full-time staff at all. Jutta Mason is the administrator. CELOS researchers are mainly from the local community, including some part-time Recreation staff when they are not booked to work for the City.
What does CELOS do?
1. For 18 years, CELOS worked directly with staff at Dufferin Grove Park, Campbell Park, MacGregor Park, and Wallace Rink to run a kind of lab, an ongoing experiment in what works and what doesn't, in shaping a "community centre without walls." CELOS collaborated in the development of all the food operations (campfires, bake ovens, summer wading pool food carts, zamboni snack bar, Friday Night Supper at Dufferin Grove, Saturday Night Supper at Campbell Rink, and the Farmers' Market). Since there was an excess of income over expenditure despite the low food costs, CELOS helped put those funds to use, to experiment with park programs such as tree watering, skate lending, playground enhancement, infrastructure (e.g. the addition of the cob courtyard but not, sadly, the bio-toilet), safety measures such as additional eyes on the park, gardening, etc. In 2011, CELOS began moving the things that work over to total city control. Ideally this would result in a new kind of partnership, but so far that has not occurred. Negotiations are ongoing.
2. CELOS also works with other groups at other parks and public spaces.
3. CELOS undertakes follow-up and research on issues arising out of people's use of parks and public spaces.
CELOS has some teachers and guides.
Ivan Illich, for example a chapter called "Research by People" beginning on p.75 in Illich's book Shadow Work
Nils Christie, with his essay Conflicts as Property
Wendell Berry, for example this essay called Think Little
Jane Jacobs, for example this summary by Nate Storring, called Jane Jacobs' ten big ideas.
Elinor Ostrom, ten principles for governance of the commons.
Susan Witt, on Jane Jacobs' friendship with the Schumacher Centre.
Joe and Stephanie Mancini of the Working Centre in Kitchener, for example see their book Transition to Common Work.
Frederik van Oudenhaven and Jamila Haider, because of their five-year project documenting community and the commons in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and how they structured their book With Our Own Hands